The age-old adage known as Murphy’s Law plainly states that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” After the week that the Ottawa Senators have had, I’d be willing to bet my life on the fact that they’re now firm believers in that principle.
Starting off the week with a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, things quickly fell off the rails, with the Sens losing two games that they should have won to the Vancouver Canucks. Were that not bad enough, Joey Daccord was lost to an apparent lower-body injury, increasing the number of sidelined goaltenders to three.
All that, and much more in this week’s Five Thoughts.
Daccord Goes Down
When I saw Joey Daccord laying on the ice, clutching his left leg, the first thing that came to mind was the use of profanity. I’m sure your reaction was something similar.
In the third period of Wednesday night’s game against the Canucks, Daccord went down with a non-contact injury while trying to push across the crease. He was clearly in a significant amount of pain, and didn’t appear able to put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the ice.
The only information available at this time is that the 24 year-old will be out for “a bit”, according to DJ Smith.
I’m absolutely gutted for Daccord. Fresh off of his first NHL win, and what should have been another on Monday night, were it not for Thatcher Demko, Daccord has played with a confidence beyond his years, and given the Sens a chance to win every single night.
Who is that Masked Man?
It goes without saying, but the loss is nothing short of catastrophic for the Senators. As it currently stands, it doesn’t sound as if Matt Murray or Marcus Högberg are anywhere close to returning, and with Daccord now out, Ottawa is down to Filip Gustavsson, Kevin Mandolese, and Cedrick Andree. Gustavsson is the only one to appear in an NHL game — doing so in relief of the injured Daccord — while Mandolese and Cedrick Andree have played just one AHL game apiece.
Pierre Dorion did claim Anton Forsberg off of waivers from the Winnipeg Jets Wednesday, but he is currently two days into a seven-day quarantine, and must test negative for COVID-19 four times before taking to the ice with the Sens.
Gustavsson was spectacular in relief of Daccord, stopping all eight shots he faced, and three of four in the shootout. That said, the Senators can’t be eager to thrust a 22 year-old rookie into the starter’s role, and they have to be even less thrilled than they were about Daccord being forced to take on the role.
Unfortunately, there’s not much they can do aside from pray for Murray and/or Hogberg to return sooner than expected.
May the Forsberg With Him
Anton Forsberg is an interesting case. A seventh-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011, the 28 year-old is now on his sixth National Hockey League organization. With 48 games under his belt — split between the Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks, and Carolina Hurricanes — Forsberg has posted an overall record of 12-25-4, with a 3.22GAA and .901SV%.
A native of Harnosand, Sweden, Forsberg hasn’t played an NHL game since last season with Carolina, after a cup of coffee with Winnipeg wherein he never got to hit the ice. He likely is not the saviour of the franchise in net, but promises to provide some valuable depth in the event that Murray, Högberg, and/or Daccord aren’t returning any time soon.
Forsberg eating starts, win or lose, is the far more appealing option when compared to the likes of Gustavsson, Mandolese, or God forbid even Andree getting shelled on a nightly basis.
Not a cause for earth-shattering excitement, but it’s what we’ve got.
If the Senators are the team that can’t catch a break, Colin White may be the best embodiment of that.
Only missing one game after what appeared to be a season-ending leg injury, White made a seemingly miraculous return against Toronto, and even scored a goal against the Canucks on Monday.
Unfortunately, the return may have been short-lived. In the third period against Vancouver, White suffered an awkward fall into the boards, and was slow to get up and skate off. He tried to gut it out for one more shift after returning from the locker room, but his night was ultimately finished.
White is currently listed as day-to-day, and with the Senators not playing again until Monday, hopefully that bodes well for him to not miss any time. White’s been excellent this year, and any halting of that momentum would be brutal.
A massive congratulations goes out the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks, on their first ever NCHC Frozen Faceoff title. Senators prospects Shane Pinto, Jacob Bernard-Docker, Jake Sanderson, and Tyler Kleven have all been key contributors on a loaded team, gunning for a national championship.
While Bernard-Docker was forced to sit out due to injury, the kids have been very much alright. Pinto seems like a surefire candidate to win the Hobey Baker award, and Sanderson has emerged as a player who could very well turn pro next season, along with Bernard-Docker.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch this team, do yourself a favour as the college season winds down. They’ve been an absolute treat.